National Participatory Archiving Survey Results Available Now!

Map of United States showing which states responded to the surveyDuring summer 2019, University Archives and Special Collections (UASC) in the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston conducted a survey about participatory archiving, or the process of collecting and preserving materials in partnership with community members. The results of the survey will inform the development of an online resource to guide libraries of all kinds and sizes through the process of hosting a participatory archiving event. The project is inspired by UASC’s Mass. Memories Road Show program and made possible by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). 

The survey results capture the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of libraries and other cultural organizations already doing participatory archiving events and those that are exploring the idea of hosting an event. UASC collected survey responses from 208 respondents representing 33 states and the District of Columbia: 123 libraries (public, private, university, and K-12), 46 cultural heritage organizations, and 25 government agencies, as well as other institutions. 

The survey reveals a great deal of interest in participatory archiving across the country. 

Approximately one half of the libraries surveyed already hosted a participatory archiving event. Ninety-five percent of these libraries found success in building community, engaging participants, and building collections through these types of events. To share materials gathered, libraries provided in-archive use to the public, posted them to their own digital repositories and social media, and/or shared them through a consortium website or state/regional repository. The survey revealed that many libraries are still learning how to preserve the digital assets they collect at participatory archiving events. 

A slight majority (55%) of libraries surveyed have not hosted or taken part in a participatory archiving event. More than half of these libraries rated their interest in holding such an event as very high. Most of these libraries cited community engagement and collections activities (building, diversifying, filling gaps) among their primary goals. To effectively host an event, these libraries reported the need for personnel (staff or volunteers), time, and guidance on various aspects of the participatory archiving process. 

UASC looks forward to addressing these needs and other gaps uncovered in the survey. In addition, UASC will seek feedback from survey participants on the online resource when it is launched later this year.  

The report analysis covers a range of topics including community outreach, digital aggregator repositories, and preservation practices from the perspectives of libraries. Responses from other types of cultural organizations are contained within the dataset that can be found in the appendix.

If you have questions about the survey or the IMLS-funded project, please email library.archives@umb.edu.

Click here to read the full report and to access the data set.

Click here to learn more about the grant-funded project.

About the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston

UMass Boston logoThe Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston plays a leading role in the dynamic culture of teaching and learning at Boston’s only public research university, while also supporting the campus’ commitment to urban and community engagement. University Archives and Special Collections (UASC) in the Healey Library collects materials related to the university’s history, as well as materials that reflect the institution’s urban mission and strong support of community service. UASC is committed to working with, promoting, and assisting community archives in the Greater Boston area and beyond through facilitating cross-organization collaboration and access to informational, educational, and practical resources relevant to archival procedures and best practices. Check in with Healey Library’s news and collections through FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

Logo for the Institute of Museum and Library ServicesThe Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. They advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Their vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

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IMLS Grant Team invites participation in “Destination Preservation” survey

A contributor shares a photo with a volunteer to complete a form at a Road Show.

A contributor shows his photograph to a volunteer at the “Show ‘Em Whatcha Got Mass. Memories Road Show: The Hip-Hop Edition.”

In 2018 University Archives & Special Collections (UASC) in the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston launched a two-year project, “Destination Preservation,” thanks to a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The goal is to build an accessible, adaptable, and engaging “roadmap” to guide libraries of all kinds and sizes through the process of collecting and preserving materials in partnership with their community members. 

The project is inspired by the Mass. Memories Road Show’s (MMRS) success in documenting the history of the Commonwealth through personal photographs and stories. Directed by the MMRS team, the project also draws on the expertise of other leaders in the participatory archiving field throughout the United States. 

The project’s Core Team includes representatives from:

  • Boston Public Library; 
  • Digital Commonwealth;
  • Maine Historical Society;
  • Massachusetts Archives;
  • Metropolitan New York Library Council;
  • Newark Public Library;
  • San Jose State University; and
  • University of Massachusetts Boston.

In the first phase of the project, the goal is to identify the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of libraries and other cultural organizations already doing participatory archiving events and those that are exploring the idea. 

Libraries are the intended audience for the roadmap, and the team seeks input from libraries in all regions of the country, from small, rural areas to large, urban ones and everything in between. However, a successful project promises to benefit an array of cultural heritage and community organizations. Therefore, the team seeks input from staff and volunteers representing a wide range of institutions committed to documenting shared cultural heritage, including archives, historical societies, museums, and cultural centers. To gather this information, the team invites librarians, archivists, museum professionals, historians, and others involved in cultural heritage work to share their perspectives through a survey.

The survey has between 31 and 75 questions (depending on your role and organization type) and requires about 35 minutes to complete. 

The results of this survey will inform the development of a suite of resources empowering libraries to plan participatory archiving programs with the communities they serve, preserve the resulting digital collections, and make those collections accessible to the public.

Follow the link to the survey here. Please share the survey with your networks and any stakeholders you believe may benefit from the eventual roadmap. 

If you have questions about the survey, would like to review materials as they are developed, or if you would like to receive a copy of the final results, please contact Sarah Collins (Sarah.Collins@umb.edu).

About the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston

UMass Boston logoThe Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston plays a leading role in the dynamic culture of teaching and learning at Boston’s only public research university, while also supporting the campus’ commitment to urban and community engagement. University Archives and Special Collections (UASC) in the Healey Library collects materials related to the university’s history, as well as materials that reflect the institution’s urban mission and strong support of community service. UASC is committed to working with, promoting, and assisting community archives in the Greater Boston area and beyond through facilitating cross-organization collaboration and access to informational, educational, and practical resources relevant to archival procedures and best practices. Check in with Healey Library’s news and collections through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

Logo for the Institute of Museum and Library ServicesThe Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. They advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Their vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

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Winchester Mass. Memories Road Show materials online now

The photographs, stories, and videos gathered at the Winchester Mass. Memories Road Show are available online now for research.

Hosted by the Jenks Center on Saturday, October 20, 2018, the event was organized by the Town of Winchester Archival Center in collaboration with the Winchester Public Library, the Winchester Historical Society, Winchester MultiCultural Network, Winchester High School, Wright-Locke Farm, and Winchester Community Access and Media, Inc (WinCAM). Thirty local volunteers–including many students from Winchester High School–joined a team of UMass Boston staff members, public history graduate students, and “Roadies” to welcome nearly 150 adults and children with connections to the suburban town north of Boston.

Town Common. Age eighty-six, I have lived a storied life and moved to town a few years ago. I have become a community fixture, active in the League of Women Voters, the farmer's market, and volunteering for political campaigns. I appear daily at the Starbucks with my friend Gloria Tedesco, and hold court where dozens of people come and go to hear of my adventures. Pictured: myself Anna LaViolette.

Anna at League of Women Voters, Winchester Farmers Market, 2018. ‘At age eighty-six, I have lived a storied life and moved to town a few years ago. I have become a community fixture, active in the League of Women Voters, the farmer’s market, and volunteering for political campaigns. I appear daily at the Starbucks with my friend Gloria Tedesco, and hold court where dozens of people come and go to hear of my adventures. Pictured: myself Anna LaViolette.’

 

Participants contributed images of everyday life in the community over the years, especially in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Several photographs document connections forged through participation in civic groups such as the Rotary Club, League of Women Voters as well as in scouting and religious organizations. Community gatherings at the Winchester Farmers’ Market and the En Ka fair and parade are also featured in the collection.

 

En Ka Parade 1977

En Ka Parade 1977.  ‘The Rotary Club was promoting the blood drive at the En Ka Parade. We were first graders at the Lincoln School. I don’t have many photos of that time in my life, so this is a special photo. Pictured, from left to right: Elin Goodman, Therese Krajewski, Laura Colella, Jenny Osgood, Jane, and Orissa Baker.’ Contributor: Laura Colella.

 

Many images depict Winchester residents’ proud efforts to preserve landmark structures such as Sanborn House and enjoying the beauty of the town’s natural resources including the historic Wright-Locke Farm, the Middlesex Fells, and the Town Common.

An immigrant story. 'We walked every Saturday and Sunday morning around Horn Pond. Yan was born in China and immigrated in the early 1990s when her husband went to the Fletcher School at Tufts. She had a small baby boy at the time she moved here, and they soon had another son. She now works for a technology company in Cambridge and regularly visits her family in China. Pictured: my friend Yan Yao. Location: Horn Pond.'


‘An immigrant story, 2018. We walked every Saturday and Sunday morning around Horn Pond. Yan was born in China and immigrated in the early 1990s when her husband went to the Fletcher School at Tufts. She had a small baby boy at the time she moved here, and they soon had another son. She now works for a technology company in Cambridge and regularly visits her family in China. Pictured: my friend Yan Yao. Location: Horn Pond.’ Contributor: Susan Kincaid.

 

Contributors also chose to preserve memories of school and extra-curricular activities, sharing photographs of their first day of school as well as participation in sports competitions, student organizations, and high school graduation ceremonies.

 

'My eighth grade graduation in 1957 from Saint Mary's School in Winchester--church in background. Pictured: myself Anne Hurley (central figure, girl in white gress, lamp post sticking out of her head).'


‘My eighth grade graduation in 1957 from Saint Mary’s School in Winchester–church in background. Pictured: myself Anne Hurley (central figure, girl in white dress, lamp post sticking out of her head).’ Contributor: Anne Hurley.

 

Several contributors brought photographs documenting accomplishments, adventures, and friendships as teenagers growing up in Winchester.

Moonlight. On Labor Day, me and my friends snuck out to go for a walk through Winchester which was like a ghost town at the time. It was special being the last summer night before school. Pictured, from left to right: Ethan Johnson, myself Ben Wall, and Alex Medieros. Location: Washington Street.

Moonlight, 2018. ‘On Labor Day, me and my friends snuck out to go for a walk through Winchester which was like a ghost town at the time. It was special being the last summer night before school. Pictured, from left to right: Ethan Johnson, myself Ben Wall, and Alex Medieros. Location: Washington Street.’ Contributor: Ben Wall.

 

Browse the Winchester Mass. Memories Road Show collection.


The Mass. Memories Road Show is a statewide digital history project that documents people, places and events in Massachusetts history through family photographs and stories. In partnership with teams of local volunteers, we organize public events to scan family and community photographs and videotape “the stories behind the photos.” The images and videos are indexed and incorporated into an online educational database. Since its launch, the project has gathered more than 10,000 photographs and stories from across the state. It is supported in part by the Patricia C. Flaherty ’81 Endowed Fund at UMass Boston.

University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston was established in 1981 as a repository to collect archival material in subject areas of interest to the university, as well as the records of the university itself. The mission and history of UMass Boston guide the collection policies of University Archives & Special Collections, with the university’s urban mission and strong support of community service reflected in the records of and related to urban planning, social welfare, social action, alternative movements, community organizations, war and social consequence, and local history related to neighboring communities. To learn more, visit blogs.umb.edu/archives.

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Healey Library at UMass Boston Receives $275,000 to Expand Community Archiving Programs Nationwide

Attendees and volunteers wearing purple event t-shirts at the Chinese American Experiences Mass. Memories Road Show

Contributors with volunteers at the information station at the Chinese American Experiences Mass. Memories Road Show in June 2018.

The Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston is pleased to announce two funding awards: a $25,000 grant from the LYRASIS Catalyst Fund, and a $250,000 National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). These awards will enable Healey Library, a pioneer in participatory archiving programs through its long-standing Mass. Memories Road Show, to build a suite of resources empowering libraries and cultural heritage organizations nationwide to lead their own community archiving programs and document the unique cultural heritage of their community members.

The LYRASIS Catalyst Fund award, launched in June 2018, will support the production of a video describing the Mass. Memories Road Show program and the development of a suite of online training materials to support libraries in the production of “personal archiving day” events with their communities. Healey Library expects the video and the training modules to be publicly available online by summer 2019.

Contributors and volunteers at the scanning station at the Nahant Mass. Memories Road Show

A contributor with volunteers at the scanning station at the Nahant Mass. Memories Road Show in 2017.

The IMLS award, launched in October 2018, will fund the development of a broad “roadmap” to guide libraries of all kinds through the process of planning participatory archiving programs with the communities they serve as well as in preserving the resulting digital collections and making them accessible. The roadmap, developed in close collaboration with archives and digital preservation experts and with a nationwide network of partners, will help libraries navigate the complexities of community partnerships, digitization event planning, and long-term digital preservation and access, all in support of the vital work of documenting their communities’ cultural heritage. Healey Library’s partners in the roadmap development include representatives from the Maine Historical Society, the Digital Public Library of America, the Metropolitan New York Library Council, the Massachusetts Archives, and the Boston Public Library. The roadmap is scheduled to be completed by fall 2020.

These two projects, taken together, will allow Healey Library to leverage its standing as a national leader in the participatory archiving movement to expand and enhance the capabilities of all libraries, regardless of size or available resources, to engage in and lead these vital community archiving initiatives themselves.

Six people in front of a graffiti painting.

Volunteers and contributors at “Show ‘Em Whatcha Got” Mass. Memories Road Show: The Hip-Hop Edition, which was held at the Boston Public Library in May 2018. Nearly 300 digital images were collected and 60 video interviews were recorded in one day as part of this event.

Libraries are critical community hubs, and these two projects will enhance their ability to bring together diverse participants and to leverage librarians’ unique expertise as information professionals to anchor a community’s collective memory. By helping libraries implement archival preservation standards and best practices, build effective partnerships with their communities, launch successful community archiving events, and navigate channels for publishing and preserving cultural heritage materials, Healey Library, LYRASIS, and the IMLS can ensure the longevity of and access to diverse cultural heritage materials, particularly from groups who might never before have been able to elevate their stories to a national audience. Libraries throughout the country will be able to use these resources to partner more effectively with their communities in preserving and sharing the unique, valuable stories that document our nation’s collective cultural history.

Carolyn Goldstein, Public History and Community Archives Program Manager at Healey Library and Project Director for the IMLS and Catalyst awards, explains, “Community archiving events are a way of collectively telling and preserving a community’s story. Participatory archiving programs are opportunities for community members to add to the historical record photographs and stories that are important to them. These two grants will enable our team to share what we’ve learned from producing the Mass. Memories Road Show for fifteen years, and to collaborate with archival and library colleagues to assess the need and create a set of resources that will empower libraries around the country to document and preserve their communities’ histories and make them accessible.”

“To directly invest in our community of libraries and archives, the LYRASIS Catalyst Fund allows our members the chance to explore their groundbreaking ideas that will help the library and archive landscape at large,” explains Mary Meyer of LYRASIS. “We are very proud to support the Healey Library in its  Online Instruction for Participatory Archiving’ project and are excited about the wide impact this effort will have in sustaining cultural heritages in communities across the country.”

“As centers of learning and catalysts of community change, libraries and museums connect people with programs, services, collections, information, and new ideas in the arts, sciences, and humanities. They serve as vital spaces where people can connect with each other,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “IMLS is proud to support their work through our grant making as they inform and inspire all in their communities.”

For additional information about these projects, please contact: Patricia Bruttomesso, Archival Collections Project Manager, at Patricia.Bruttomesso@umb.edu or 617-287-7696.


About the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston

UMass Boston logoThe Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston plays a leading role in the dynamic culture of teaching and learning at Boston’s only public research university, while also supporting the campus’ commitment to urban and community engagement. University Archives and Special Collections (UASC) in the Healey Library collects materials related to the university’s history, as well as materials that reflect the institution’s urban mission and strong support of community service. UASC is committed to working with, promoting, and assisting community archives in the Greater Boston area and beyond through facilitating cross-organization collaboration and access to informational, educational, and practical resources relevant to archival procedures and best practices. Check in with Healey Library’s news and collections through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

Logo for the Institute of Museum and Library ServicesThe Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. They advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Their vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

About LYRASIS

Lyrasis logoLYRASIS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization whose mission is to support enduring access to the world’s shared academic, scientific and cultural heritage through leadership in open technologies, content services, digital solutions and collaboration with archives, libraries, museums and knowledge communities worldwide. LYRASIS is home to more than 1,000 member academic and public libraries, museums, archives and other collections-holding organizations located in 28 countries. The Catalyst Fund is a program administered by LYRASIS and Leaders Circle members. The Fund is designed to foster new ideas that will benefit the archive, library, and museum communities. Catalyst Fund awards support LYRASIS members as they test and try innovative approaches to advance their field.  

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Massachusetts Hip-Hop Archive: Lecco’s Lemma collection processed and open for research

Artist tapes and inserts from the Lecco’s Lemma collection.

University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston is pleased to announce that the materials in the Magnus Johnstone and Willie Alexander: Lecco’s Lemma collection, 1984-2001, have been processed and are available for research. View the finding aid for this collection here.

This collection contains nearly 500 audiocassettes consisting of artist demo tapes and home recordings of Magnus Johnstone’s Lecco’s Lemma radio show, which aired on MIT’s WMBR (88.1 FM) and, later, on Boston College’s WZBC (90.3 FM) from 1985 to 1988. In addition to exposing listeners to mainstream hip-hop artists, the Lecco’s Lemma radio show provided Boston’s underground hip-hop community an outlet through which to be heard. Johnstone, the show’s eclectic host, encouraged area artists to send in their own recordings to play on air. The first series in the Lecco’s Lemma collection includes nearly 300 demo tapes by local hip-hop artists.

The Lecco’s Lemma collection includes nearly 300 artist tapes, including a number of early works from Guru and the original Gang Starr lineup. This is a j-card from a recording featuring the track “Fresh Avenue.”

The second series in this collection consists of nearly 200 recordings of Lecco’s Lemma broadcasts recorded by Boston’s “Godfather of Punk,” Willie “Loco” Alexander, on his home boom box. Read more about the process of making these recordings available here.

Cassette images and audio for both series (the artist tapes and the show tapes) have been digitized and are available on our digital collections site here.

Read more about the Massachusetts Hip-Hop Archive here and keep visiting blogs.umb.edu/archives for future updates.

View the finding aid for the Lecco’s Lemma collection here.

For questions about this collection or to schedule a research appointment, please contact library.archives@umb.edu or 617-287-5469.


University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston collects materials related to the university’s history, as well as materials that reflect the institution’s urban mission and strong support of community service, notably in collections of records of urban planning, social welfare, social action, alternative movements, community organizations, and local history related to neighboring communities.

University Archives & Special Collections welcomes inquiries from individuals, organizations, and businesses interested in donating materials of an archival nature that that fit within our collecting policy. These include manuscripts, documents, organizational archives, collections of photographs, unique publications, and audio and video media. For more information about donating to University Archives & Special Collections, click here or email library.archives@umb.edu.

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